35 children's books in Parag Honour List for 2021
Thirty-five books for children and young adults across fiction, non-fiction and poetry genres by authors like Vinod Kumar Shukl, Jerry Pinto, Nandini Nayar and Nandita Da Cunha in English and Hindi feature in the Parag Honour List 2021.
Currently in its second edition, this annual list by the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts features best of children's books published in the past one year.
The list was launched Saturday by actor Soha Ali Khan, who said such curated reading lists can support educators, librarians and parents to know about the best Indian children's books being published each year.
For this edition, Parag received books from 26 Indian publishers, published between October 2019 and September 2020.
The PHL jury members were Arundhati Deosthale, Gurbachan Singh and Suneeta Mishra (Hindi) and Arvind Gupta, Prachi Kalra and Samina Mishra (English).
Swaha Sahoo, who heads the Parag Initiative, says it is driven by a belief in the transformative power of reading, working to ensure that children across India can appreciate and enjoy reading, especially in diverse languages.
"Parag's three-pronged model for sourcing, publishing and disseminating children's literature has catalysed children's literature, reading and literacy ecosystem towards encouraging joyful reading among children and youth," she says.
"In the course of our work we have often come across request from parents, educators, librarians for curated reading list that they could use with children. Parag Honour List aims to promote access to a comprehensive curated list of good quality children's literature that librarians, teachers, parents and children can refer to and read," she adds.
The 2021 list consists of 20 titles in English and 15 in Hindi.
Some of titles in English are "My Daddy and the Well" by Jerry Pinto; "Candid Tales: India on a Motorcycle" (Adithi Rao); "The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street" (Nandita Da Cunha); "Mini's Questions" (Nandini Nayar); "Unearthed: An Environmental History of Independent India" (Meghaa Gupta); "Bombay Ducks, Bombay Docks" (Fleur D’Souza); Nadya; and "A Saree For Ammi" (Mamta Nainy). Hindi titles include "Godam" (Vinod Kumar Shukl); "Chaar Cheetiyan" (Shyam Sushil); "Kya Tum Meri Dadi Ho" (Sonika Deshpande); and Mitti (Madhu Dhruve).
According to jury member Mishra, the "most important dimension of children's literature is to have enough opportunities for children's imagination and their perspective to see and understand the world".
Another member Gupta says this year there were several picture biographies of iconic Indians - tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, surveyor Pandit Nain Singh Rawat, cricketer Mithali Raj, and astronaut Sunita Williams. "We need many more picture biographies of eminent people to inspire our young."
As part of the criteria for creating the Parag list, all leading publishers of children's books have to submit their select titles for review.
The books are then sent to a panel of eminent educationists and bibliophiles for their comments and feedback. A broad criterion is laid for choosing the best among the submitted books.